PhD Student Anna Kent’s Recent Research Trip to NYC

AnnaKentUpdatedProfileImageAnna Kent‘s PhD is titled Australian Scholarships for Indonesia 1960 to 2015: Critical Mass, Policy and Expectations Associated with Scholarships and Alumni.

New York, New York

My area of research is niche.

I’m not the only person doing it, but there is certainly not a significant number of people researching in the world of international development scholarships in Australia. And for many that do, it is tangential; an added element to their research into international education, public health, development, or public diplomacy. So to sit in a room, a beautiful room within International House, with the Hudson River just across the road, filled with people who work and research in international scholarships was overwhelming, joyous even (although that was perhaps the jetlag?)

And this group not only do research into scholarships, but many of them seem to exhibit the same evangelical enthusiasm for the topic that I feel myself!

This meeting of scholarship nerds in New York at the end of September 2016 brought together nearly all the separate chapter authors of a book that is due to be published next year, currently titled International Scholarships: Pathways to Social Change. The very talented editors, Joan Dassin, Robin Marsh and Matt Mawer had convinced the Ford Foundation that this book was worth supporting, and they did so by funding the two and a half day workshop and flying authors from Kenya, India, Mexico, the UK, the Netherlands, Canada, from all over the USA – and off course from Australia – to NYC for a weekend of intense discussions. 

I was invited by Matt Mawer earlier this year to write the chapter on recent trends in international scholarships. And the book covers both trends, evaluation methods, impacts, outcomes and the role of scholarships in broader conversations around international development, international education and higher education more broadly. Filling in the gaps will be case studies of scholarship programs, written by those with a detailed knowledge of their inner workings.

Despite intense jetlag we managed to talk for hours and hours, with discussions running across breaks, lunchtimes and into the evenings. We will now translate these conversations into our chapter drafts, with the book due to be published in mid-2017.

For a PhD candidate like me, this opportunity to develop a network of international academic connections is invaluable. Many discussions branched into “what do we do next” and how do we make use of this newly formed network.

So, thanks to the Ford Foundation and I look forward to showing off the book when it is available next year!

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